Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2020-04-10
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 5205
Personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction of money judgments
Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) CHAPTER 8, ARTICLE 52
§ 5205. Personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction
of money judgments. (a) Exemption for personal property. The following
personal property when owned by any person is exempt from application to
the satisfaction of a money judgment except where the judgment is for
the purchase price of the exempt property or was recovered by a
domestic, laboring person or mechanic for work performed by that person
in such capacity:

1. all stoves and home heating equipment kept for use in the judgment
debtor's dwelling house and necessary fuel therefor for one hundred
twenty days; one sewing machine with its appurtenances;

2. religious texts, family pictures and portraits, and school books
used by the judgment debtor or in the family; and other books, not
exceeding five hundred dollars in value, kept and used as part of the
family or judgment debtor's library;

3. a seat or pew occupied by the judgment debtor or the family in a
place of public worship;

4. domestic animals with the necessary food for those animals for one
hundred twenty days, provided that the total value of such animals and
food does not exceed one thousand dollars; all necessary food actually
provided for the use of the judgment debtor or his family for one
hundred twenty days;

5. all wearing apparel, household furniture, one mechanical, gas or
electric refrigerator, one radio receiver, one television set, one
computer and associated equipment, one cellphone, crockery, tableware
and cooking utensils necessary for the judgment debtor and the family;
all prescribed health aids;

6. a wedding ring; a watch, jewelry and art not exceeding one thousand
dollars in value;

7. tools of trade, necessary working tools and implements, including
those of a mechanic, farm machinery, team, professional instruments,
furniture and library, not exceeding three thousand dollars in value,
together with the necessary food for the team for one hundred twenty
days, provided, however, that the articles specified in this paragraph
are necessary to the carrying on of the judgment debtor's profession or
calling;

8. one motor vehicle not exceeding four thousand dollars in value
above liens and encumbrances of the debtor; if such vehicle has been
equipped for use by a disabled debtor, then ten thousand dollars in
value above liens and encumbrances of the debtor; provided, however,
that this exemption for one motor vehicle shall not apply if the debt
enforced is for child support, spousal support, maintenance, alimony or
equitable distribution, or if the state of New York or any of its
agencies or any municipal corporation is the judgment creditor; and

9. if no homestead exemption is claimed, then one thousand dollars in
personal property, bank account or cash.

(b) Exemption of cause of action and damages for taking or injuring
exempt personal property. A cause of action, to recover damages for
taking or injuring personal property exempt from application to the
satisfaction of a money judgment, is exempt from application to the
satisfaction of a money judgment. A money judgment and its proceeds
arising out of such a cause of action is exempt, for one year after the
collection thereof, from application to the satisfaction of a money
judgment.

(c) Trust exemption. 1. Except as provided in paragraphs four and five
of this subdivision, all property while held in trust for a judgment
debtor, where the trust has been created by, or the fund so held in
trust has proceeded from, a person other than the judgment debtor, is
exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.

2. For purposes of this subdivision, all trusts, custodial accounts,
annuities, insurance contracts, monies, assets or interests established
as part of, and all payments from, either any trust or plan, which is
qualified as an individual retirement account under section four hundred
eight or section four hundred eight A of the United States Internal
Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, a Keogh (HR-10), retirement or other
plan established by a corporation, which is qualified under section 401
of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or
created as a result of rollovers from such plans pursuant to sections
402 (a) (5), 403 (a) (4), 408 (d) (3) or 408A of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986, as amended, or a plan that satisfies the requirements of
section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, shall be
considered a trust which has been created by or which has proceeded from
a person other than the judgment debtor, even though such judgment
debtor is (i) in the case of an individual retirement account plan, an
individual who is the settlor of and depositor to such account plan, or
(ii) a self-employed individual, or (iii) a partner of the entity
sponsoring the Keogh (HR-10) plan, or (iv) a shareholder of the
corporation sponsoring the retirement or other plan or (v) a participant
in a section 457 plan.

3. All trusts, custodial accounts, annuities, insurance contracts,
monies, assets, or interests described in paragraph two of this
subdivision shall be conclusively presumed to be spendthrift trusts
under this section and the common law of the state of New York for all
purposes, including, but not limited to, all cases arising under or
related to a case arising under sections one hundred one to thirteen
hundred thirty of title eleven of the United States Bankruptcy Code, as
amended.

4. This subdivision shall not impair any rights an individual has
under a qualified domestic relations order as that term is defined in
section 414(p) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as
amended or under any order of support, alimony or maintenance of any
court of competent jurisdiction to enforce arrears/past due support
whether or not such arrears/past due support have been reduced to a
money judgment.

5. Additions to an asset described in paragraph two of this
subdivision shall not be exempt from application to the satisfaction of
a money judgment if (i) made after the date that is ninety days before
the interposition of the claim on which such judgment was entered, or
(ii) deemed to be voidable transactions under article ten of the debtor
and creditor law.

(d) Income exemptions. The following personal property is exempt from
application to the satisfaction of a money judgment, except such part as
a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of
the judgment debtor and his dependents:

1. ninety per cent of the income or other payments from a trust the
principal of which is exempt under subdivision (c); provided, however,
that with respect to any income or payments made from trusts, custodial
accounts, annuities, insurance contracts, monies, assets or interest
established as part of an individual retirement account plan or as part
of a Keogh (HR-10), retirement or other plan described in paragraph two
of subdivision (c) of this section, the exception in this subdivision
for such part as a court determines to be unnecessary for the reasonable
requirements of the judgment debtor and his dependents shall not apply,
and the ninety percent exclusion of this paragraph shall become a one
hundred percent exclusion;

2. ninety per cent of the earnings of the judgment debtor for his
personal services rendered within sixty days before, and at any time
after, an income execution is delivered to the sheriff or a motion is
made to secure the application of the judgment debtor's earnings to the
satisfaction of the judgment; and

3. payments pursuant to an award in a matrimonial action, for the
support of a wife, where the wife is the judgment debtor, or for the
support of a child, where the child is the judgment debtor; where the
award was made by a court of the state, determination of the extent to
which it is unnecessary shall be made by that court.

(e) Exemptions to members of armed forces. The pay and bounty of a
non-commissioned officer, musician or private in the armed forces of the
United States or the state of New York; a land warrant, pension or other
reward granted by the United States, or by a state, for services in the
armed forces; a sword, horse, medal, emblem or device of any kind
presented as a testimonial for services rendered in the armed forces of
the United States or a state; and the uniform, arms and equipments which
were used by a person in the service, are exempt from application to the
satisfaction of a money judgment; provided, however, that the provisions
of this subdivision shall not apply to the satisfaction of any order or
money judgment for the support of a person's child, spouse, or former
spouse.

(f) Exemption for unpaid milk proceeds. Ninety per cent of any money
or debt due or to become due to the judgment debtor for the sale of milk
produced on a farm operated by him and delivered for his account to a
milk dealer licensed pursuant to article twenty-one of the agriculture
and markets law is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a
money judgment.

(g) Security deposit exemption. Money deposited as security for the
rental of real property to be used as the residence of the judgment
debtor or the judgment debtor's family; and money deposited as security
with a gas, electric, water, steam, telegraph or telephone corporation,
or a municipality rendering equivalent utility services, for services to
judgment debtor's residence or the residence of judgment debtor's
family, are exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money
judgment.

(h) The following personal property is exempt from application to the
satisfaction of money judgment, except such part as a court determines
to be unnecessary for the reasonable requirements of the judgment debtor
and his dependents:

1. any and all medical and dental accessions to the human body and all
personal property or equipment that is necessary or proper to maintain
or assist in sustaining or maintaining one or more major life activities
or is utilized to provide mobility for a person with a permanent
disability; and

2. any guide dog, service dog or hearing dog, as those terms are
defined in section one hundred eight of the agriculture and markets law,
or any animal trained to aid or assist a person with a permanent
disability and actually being so used by such person, together with any
and all food or feed for any such dog or other animal.

(i) Exemption for life insurance policies. The right of a judgment
debtor to accelerate payment of part or all of the death benefit or
special surrender value under a life insurance policy, as authorized by
paragraph one of subsection (a) of section one thousand one hundred
thirteen of the insurance law, or to enter into a viatical settlement
pursuant to the provisions of article seventy-eight of the insurance
law, is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment.

(j) Exemption for New York state college choice tuition savings
program trust fund payment monies. Monies in an account created pursuant
to article fourteen-A of the education law are exempt from application
to the satisfaction of a money judgment as follows:

1. one hundred percent of monies in an account established in
connection with a scholarship program established pursuant to such
article is exempt;

2. one hundred percent of monies in an account is exempt where the
judgment debtor is the account owner and designated beneficiary of such
account and is a minor; and

3. an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars in an account, or in
the aggregate for more than one account, is exempt where the judgment
debtor is the account owner of such account or accounts.

For purposes of this subdivision, the terms "account owner" and
"designated beneficiary" shall have the meanings ascribed to them in
article fourteen-A of the education law.

(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, where
the judgment involves funds of a convicted person as defined in
paragraph (c) of subdivision one of section six hundred thirty-two-a of
the executive law, and all or a portion of such funds represent
compensatory damages awarded by judgment to a convicted person in a
separate action, a judgment obtained pursuant to such section six
hundred thirty-two-a shall not be subject to execution or enforcement
against the first ten percent of the portion of such funds that
represents compensatory damages in the convicted person's action;
provided, however, that this exemption from execution or enforcement
shall not apply to judgments obtained by a convicted person prior to the
effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand one which
added this sentence or to any amendment to such judgment where such
amendment was obtained on or after the effective date of this
subdivision. For the purpose of determining the amount of a judgment
which is not subject to execution or enforcement pursuant to this
subdivision: (i) the court shall deduct attorney's fees from that
portion of the judgment that represents compensatory damages and
multiply the remainder of compensatory damages by ten percent; and (ii)
when the judgment includes compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's
fees shall be pro rated among compensatory and punitive damages in the
same proportion that all attorney's fees bear to all damages recovered.

(l) Exemption of banking institution accounts into which statutorily
exempt payments are made electronically or by direct deposit. 1. If
direct deposit or electronic payments reasonably identifiable as
statutorily exempt payments were made to the judgment debtor's account
in any banking institution during the forty-five day period preceding
the date a restraining notice was served on the banking institution or
an execution was served upon the banking institution by a marshal or
sheriff, then two thousand five hundred dollars in the judgment debtor's
account is exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money
judgment. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit a
creditor's rights under 42 U.S.C. § 659 or 38 U.S.C. § 5301 or to
enforce a child support, spousal support, alimony or maintenance
obligation. Nothing in this subdivision shall alter the exempt status of
funds that are protected from execution, levy, attachment, garnishment
or other legal process, pursuant to this section or under any other
provision of state or federal law, or shall affect the right of a
judgment debtor to claim such exemption.

2. For purposes of this article, "statutorily exempt payments" means
any personal property exempt from application to the satisfaction of a
money judgment under any provision of state or federal law. Such term
shall include, but not be limited to, payments from any of the following
sources: social security, including retirement, survivors' and
disability benefits, supplemental security income or child support
payments; veterans administration benefits; public assistance; workers'
compensation; unemployment insurance; public or private pensions;
railroad retirement; and black lung benefits.

3. (i) Beginning on April first, two thousand twelve, and at each
three-year interval ending on April first thereafter, the dollar amount
of the exemption provided in this section, subdivisions (e) and (h) of
section fifty-two hundred twenty-two, subdivision (a) of section
fifty-two hundred thirty and subdivision (e) of section fifty-two
hundred thirty-two of this article in effect immediately before that
date shall be adjusted as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph.

(ii) The superintendent of financial services shall determine the
amount of the adjustment based on the change in the Consumer Price Index
for All Urban Consumers, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island,
NY-NJ-CT-PA, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics, for the most recent three-year period ending on December
thirty-first preceding the adjustment, with each adjusted amount rounded
to the nearest twenty-five dollars.

(iii) Beginning on April first, two thousand twelve, and at each
three-year interval ending on April first thereafter, the superintendent
of financial services shall publish the current dollar amount of the
exemption provided in this section, subdivisions (e) and (h) of section
fifty-two hundred twenty-two, subdivision (a) of section fifty-two
hundred thirty and subdivision (e) of section fifty-two hundred
thirty-two of this chapter, together with the date of the next scheduled
adjustment. The publication shall be substantially in the form set
below:

CURRENT DOLLAR AMOUNT OF EXEMPTION FROM ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENT UNDER
NEW YORK CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES Sections 5205(l), 5222(e),
5222(h), 5230(a), and 5232(e)

The following is the current dollar amount of exemption from
enforcement of money judgments under CPLR sections 5205(l), 5222(e),
5222(h), 5230(a), and 5232(e), as required by CPLR section 5205(l)(3):

(Amount)

This amount is effective on April 1, (year) and shall not apply to
cases commenced before April 1, (year). The next adjustment is scheduled
for April 1, (year).

(iv) Adjustments made under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph shall
not apply with respect to restraining notices served or executions
effected before the date of the adjustment.

(m) Nothing in subdivision (l) of this section limits the judgment
debtor's exemption rights in this section or under any other law.

(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the
term "banking institution" when used in this article shall mean and
include all banks, trust companies, savings banks, savings and loan
associations, credit unions, foreign banking corporations incorporated,
chartered, organized or licensed under the laws of this state, foreign
banking corporations maintaining a branch in this state, and nationally
chartered banks.

(o) The provisions of subdivisions (l), (m) and (n) of this section do
not apply when the state of New York, or any of its agencies or
municipal corporations is the judgment creditor, or if the debt enforced
is for child support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony, provided
that the restraining notice or execution contains a legend at the top
thereof, above the caption, in sixteen point bold type with the
following language: "The judgment creditor is the state of New York, or
any of its agencies or municipal corporations, AND/OR the debt enforced
is for child support, spousal support, maintenance or alimony.".